HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
Do you know of a new diet or fitness routine that you'd like us to review? Or perhaps you want to write a review yourself and see it in print! Got a great recipe you want to share? Let us know at email@example.com.
In this Section....
- August Recipes
- August Exercise
- Daily Diet Tip
- Healthy Eating Myths and Facts
- Eating well when Travelling
August Recipes - Click Here
Whew!! Hello, August, you're a hottie!! And what better way to spend a hot day than sitting on the back porch with the family, enjoying a light but delicious meal that takes very little cooking time. We've put together a yummy summer meal that incorporates fresh vegetables, fruit, and even chocolate!! Oh, yum!! And who wants to be stuck behind the stove in summer anyway, right?? So, gather up the family and tell them, we're roughing it today, and see their faces light up at this amazing meal. Enjoy!!
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
August Exercises - Click HereEach month we will feature simple exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home and without buying fancy expensive equipment.
Healthy Eating Myths and Facts
Nighttime Eating Makes You Fat
Put this diet myth to bed. There's no conclusive proof that late-night meals cause you to put on weight. What we do know is that too many calories cause weight gain, and many night eaters do tend to overeat and choose high-calorie foods. Still, eating right before bedtime can lead to heartburn and indigestion. So try to stick to regular -- and earlier -- mealtimes.
Some Sugars Are Worse Than Others
Table sugar, agave, honey, and high-fructose corn syrup contribute calories (between 48 and 64 a tablespoon). So far, research shows that our bodies absorb added sugars like high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar in a similar way. Instead of avoiding one particular kind of sugar, try to limit added sugars of any kind, like those in soda, candy, and other sweets.
Coffee Isn't Good for You
This is a recently debunked diet myth. Coffee, when consumed in moderation (2 to 3 cups daily), is a safe part of a healthy diet and contributes antioxidant phytochemicals. In fact, research suggests coffee may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, gallstones, Parkinson's disease, even some cancers. Keep coffee calories in check, though. Steer clear of trimmings like cream, sugar, and flavored syrups.
The Less Fat You Eat, the Better
Your body needs three nutrients to thrive: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Yes, fats! Good-for-you fats found in foods like nuts, seeds, fish, avocado, olives, and low-fat dairy give you energy, help rebuild cells, and produce needed hormones. The fats to limit or avoid are saturated and trans fats, found in foods like butter, high-fat dairy, red meat, and many processed foods.
Switch to Sea Salt to Reduce Sodium
Think switching to sea salt will save sodium? Sorry, that's a diet myth, too. By weight, gourmet salts have about the same sodium as plain old table salt. Add flavor with pepper, herbs, and spices instead. Besides, we get about 75% of our total salt intake from processed and prepared foods (not the salt shaker) like soups, condiments, mixes, cheeses, and canned goods.
Drink More Water to Peel off Pounds
There's no doubt water is vital for your body -- but a weight loss aid? Not really. If drinking water keeps you away from high-calorie drinks, it can certainly help you lose weight. But adding more water to your diet, without changing anything else, makes no difference in lowering the numbers on your scale.
Avoid Processed Grains
We know whole grains are good for us because they're packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. That doesn't mean you need to ditch all processed grains. At times, like when your body is recovering from an intestinal bug, refined grains may be necessary. And some processed grains are fortified with folic acid. While whole grains are the healthier choice, you can make room for some fortified processed grains, too.
Sugar Makes Kids Hyperactive
This myth is so common it seems impossible that it isn't true. Yet most research shows sugar doesn't make all kids hyperactive. So why do kids bounce off the walls at birthday parties? It's not the cake; it's probably the exciting environment. Still, pay attention to how much sugar your kids eat. Eating too many sweets leaves little room for healthier food.
Athletes Need a Ton of Protein
Everyone knows an athlete needs tons of protein to build strength and muscle, right? Well, not exactly. Most American diets provide plenty of protein even for athletes. The real secret to boosting athletic strength and muscle is to get enough calories, focus on intense training, and get a carb- and protein-containing snack (such as nonfat chocolate milk) soon after an intense muscle workout. Special powders, bars, and supplements need not apply!
Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes
Worried that your love of cake or candy will lead to diabetes? Stop fretting about this diet myth. If you don't have diabetes, eating sugar won't cause you to get the disease. What does raise your diabetes risk, however, is being obese and inactive. So do your body a favor: Cut back on the empty, sugary calories, and get moving!
Carbs Lead to Weight Gain
Stop believing this diet myth. Not all carbohydrates are bad for you. But it seems like people lose weight on low-carbohydrate diets, right? Those diets almost always restrict calories, too, and fewer calories add up to fewer pounds over time no matter how many of your calories come from fat, protein, or carbohydrates.
Tips for Spotting Diet Myths
- First, if it sounds too good to be true, it almost definitely is.
- Second, ask yourself, "Who says so?" Is the person making the claim biased? Are they trying to sell a product? Is the information based on just one small study?
- There’s no secret ingredient to weight loss or maintenance. We've known for a long time that eating right and exercising are what matters.
Submitted by: Maria Albus
Eating well when Travelling
There was a great article in the paper the other day that discussed ways to manage eating while we travel. Whether you’re staying in a hotel or staying with friends/family, it’s sometimes difficult to stick to any “routine.” This is the issue that all of us encounter: when structure or routine goes out the window, perceived “willpower” can sometimes follow. It’s important to have a plan of action before travelling so that you can manage a different schedule and still make healthy choices. Some of us use travel (especially if it’s vacation) to justify going off track…the most important thing is to always, always get BACK ON TRACK no matter what. Sometimes this is easier said than done, I know.
Author Andrea Holwegner discusses practical ways that people can stay on track while they’re travelling in her article: “How to eat well when you’re on the road.” By pre-planning and deciding ahead of time that you will stick to these simple principles, you will be amazed at your success. At restaurants, don’t hesitate to ask for what you want. Many restaurants will serve excess portions of starchy foods like rice/potatoes/pasta/bread because they’re cheaper than vegetables and protein-rich foods. Ask for double the veggies as a substitute to starch – most restaurants will honour your request. For example, almost all breakfast restaurants will serve tomato slices instead of home-fries if you ask.
Snacking on the road is always a challenge. Whether you’re stuck at an airport or in a car, it’s important to fuel yourself with foods that will keep you satisfied and energized. Tiredness or stress when travelling can also lead to poor food options since our body tends to crave quick-energy foods (i.e. sugary, starchy foods)…choosing foods with protein or good fat will prevent the blood sugar from spiking & crashing, and thus keep energy levels more even. Try not to go longer than 3-4 hours without eating something. Holwegner gives a list of healthy snack options in her article that can usually be found at airports or rest-stops: yogurt parfait (yogurt + berries), cheese, veggies & dip, cottage cheese, hard-boiled egg, protein bar, nuts (almonds, cashews, etc.), low fat latte, salad with grilled chicken, etc. These choices will keep you feeling full longer than higher-carbohydrate options like chips or crackers.
Many of us tend to get dehydrated when we travel which leads to increased fatigue and irritability. Buy a water bottle to bring on the plane (or in the car), and make sure you have water/fluid handy if you’re sitting through hours of meetings or lectures. Also, alcohol can sometimes be a big part of travelling – whether it’s at client dinners or at an all-inclusive resort, alcohol adds up calories and sugar to your daily intake. A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume; this slows down alcohol consumption and keeps you hydrated at the same time.
Changing our eating habits when travelling also means changing our perspective on what we consider important. While many of us tend to associate “value” with indulging on special foods while we’re on holiday or travelling for work, considering putting “value” into things like: better energy, better mood, less bloating, more confidence and feeling in control.
Pre-planning is really key to being in control at any part of this healthy lifestyle journey – whether you’re losing weight, getting in shape, or maintaining weight loss. Take time to plan on what healthy decisions you’ll make while travelling. By doing this, you’ll come home feeling comfortable to get back into your normal routine without delay. All of us are bombarded with food decisions on a daily basis; when we travel, the decisions become more difficult and less structured. Plan on always getting back on track, even if one meal or snack is “off”…make a healthier decision at the next meal or snack. The important thing is to never give up on your efforts. Slip-ups make us more conscious; no one is perfect. Perfectionism can be detrimental to weight loss. So, be kind to yourself and pre-plan so that you go into a situation with confidence and comfort.
Keep awareness no matter where you are or what you’re doing – you’ll naturally make more informed decisions about what you choose to eat. Never give up on your goal for better health – you can and WILL achieve it.
Written by: Dr Doug